by Dan Ciarlette
This year started out with Diane driving down to Florida with her sister and godchildren. They had come up to Knoxville with Fred to spent some of the Christmas holiday season with us. Diane spent some time in Florida and then flew back up to Knoxville.
In March, I went to Denver to receive a U.S. Department of Energy Award for the work that I've been doing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's SNS Project. A lot of people helped me make that possible.
We went on a cruise in April for our 9th anniversary. We went to the western Caribbean. On the cruise we went to a place to swim with the dolphins. Both Diane and I got to do it. It was awesome!! Here's a couple of Diane getting pushed and kissed. I got kissed and pulled around too. Diane and I got a good number of shots together on the cruise (1, 2, 3, 4). We also visited the Myan pyramids. It's tiring climbing those things. In one port we saw something interesting. The two boats are the Grand Princess and another boat that we had been on twice called the Monarch of the Seas - both in port together. The Monarch is the smaller boat. It was the biggest in 1993 when we sailed for our honeymoon. Since this was our anniversary cruise we even got an anniversary cake.
When we got back from the cruise our bushes were blooming a brilliant white. Here in 10aC (Tenn-e-see) things start blooming in late March and April. By May, the Cannas were already going and stayed around until the end of November. Diane's plants are starting to do well.
In the Spring, we did a lot of work with landscaping. Diane found some awesome deals on Magnolia trees and perennials. She bought a bunch of the perennials and spent a good amount of time planting them. She gets the credit for the landscaping.
In the summer, we went to Illinois to visit relatives and camp in our pop-up. It was HOT even for Illinois while we were there and the bugs were bad. We've determined IL has bad weather - we just never realized how bad. We visited relatives and brought back coolers filled with ethnic food that we can't get in IL. We spent the nights in our air conditioned pop-up. Nothing like roughing it. We did get to have some fun in my niece Robin's boat when we there.
When we got back we found that a family friend, Carol and Don, had moved to Knoxville and we went tubing with them. We had a great time. We do things with them from time to time and it's nice to have some friends down here that I've known for a long time.
In August, I went to Richland, VA to attend a high speed networking workshop for DOE. I found it fascinating to be a part of something that might be the next major US network.
In August, I also went to Orlando FL to go to the Polycom Users Group meeting. I spent the days watching talks while Diane went and ventured into the Disney theme parks. After the day's talks, Diane and I would go back and check some of the parks out. The first weekend, I did get to have some time with Diane, my Godchild Catie and the rest of Charlene's family and her friend Sue. We went to the Magic Kingdom. I hadn't been there since 1976. One night we went to Cirque De Sole. Then we went and visited Charlene at her house for a few days and then drove 800 miles back up to Knoxville in one day.
In September, I went to Shelter Island, NY. Shelter Island is a quiet island off of Long Island's eastern end that you take a ferry to. I attended a workshop on global area networking for accelerators. Basically, we talked about what is needed to operate a particle accelerator from difference locations around the world.
In October, I finally got the www.ciarlette.com web-site up and running and put a couple of pictures up on it. We also went to Louise Mandrell's show with Diane's sister Marilyn and Joe. Barbara Mandrell showed up that night and we got to shake her hand (no pictures - darn).
In the Fall we took some pictures around the house. Here's a shot of the front of the house. Here's a picture of our Cannas and other flowers. We did a lot of work in the back yard. You can see the Magnolias and all of the perennials that Diane planted. Also, Diane's got roses coming up.
In addition to sitting around the house, we went to the Smokies and Cades Cove. We got a nice picture of an old barn, horses, and a church. We then went to Clingman's Dome in the Smokies. We got a great overview of the Smokies and got to see a wall of icicles.
For Thanksgiving we went back up to the Chicago area to visit relatives again. It was cold and it snowed. Diane was sick and didn't get to do much. I on the other hand was happy to find a hotel with free high-speed internet access (Wingate in Tinley Park, IL).
It's December now, Diane's got the house decorated to the max for the holidays. She has 3 big trees up and about a million small ones. We'll be getting some pictures soon. The lights are up outside and we're getting ready to spend a nice Christmas in Florida with Diane's sister Charlene, our brother-in-law Fred, and their two wonderful kids Catie, and Jonathon.
Some of our goals for the next year are to finish our basement to make another bathroom, bedroom, and a family room.
May everyone reading this have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year,